It's looking more and more like the first three picks in the 2021 NFL will be quarterbacks. That's exactly what happened in our Superflex rookie-only mock draft, though maybe not in the same order the NFL teams will take them.
The quarterback didn't stop after Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields and Zach Wilson were off the board. Five of the top 16 picks were quarterbacks and two more were taken at the end of the second round. All told, nine quarterbacks were taken in this four-round draft.
We did mock this a little different, keeping it in house with six of us drafting two teams each. R.J. White drafted first and seventh in each round, Chris Towers picked second and eighth, Dan Schneier had the third pick and the ninth, Dave Richard picked fourth and tenth, Jamey Eisenberg had the fifth pick and the 11th, while I handled six and 12. I'll give the results round-by-round, with short thoughts at the end of each round.
1.01 Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
1.02 Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
1.03 Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
1.04 Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU
1.05 Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
1.06 Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
1.07 Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
1.08 Devonta Smith, WR, Alabama
1.09 Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
1.10 Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
1.11 Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina
1.12 Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
The biggest takeaway from Round 1 doesn't actually have anything to do with the quarterbacks. At least not one quarterback in particular. It's their collective impact on the value of the mid-round picks. The best illustration of that is Kyle Pitts.
Pitts went No. 3 overall in our rookie-only PPR mock but fell to No. 9 in this draft. As I've discussed a few times, there appears to be a pretty clear tier of six non-QBs at the top of most rookie mocks. It's a pretty safe bet that at least three quarterbacks are going to be drafted in the first five or six picks, which means there's going to be at least one potential star who falls like Pitts did.
I suggested trying to trade up to get into the top six picks, but in this format I might look to do the opposite, especially if I'm set at quarterbacks. The fact that I could land Pitts or Waddle or Devonta Smith and pick up another asset would be too good to pass up. It's also worth noting that this extends to the back of the first round as well, even if those players are in a lower tier. Javonte Williams and Rondale Moore were both top-seven picks in the one-quarterback mock.
2.01 Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
2.02 Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss
2.03 Terrace Marshall, WR, LSU
2.04 Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
2.05 Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
2.06 Trey Sermon, RB, Ohio State
2.07 Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Memphis
2.08 Michael Carter, RB, North Carolina
2.09 Dyami Brown, WR, North Carolina
2.10 Khalil Herbert, RB, Virginia Tech
2.11 Kellen Mond, QB, Texas A&M
2.12 Davis Mills, QB, Stanford
I absolutely love the run of receivers at the top of Round 2. Their draft capital and landing spot will dictate which of them goes first, but there is reason for optimism for all four who went in the first half of the round. Personally, Terrace Marshall is my favorite, but all four are very close and in the same tier. Unfortunately for me, none of them made it to my second-round pick so I settled for Trey Sermon, one of my favorite sleeper running backs in this class.
The end of the second round brought another pair of quarterbacks in Kellen Mond and Davis Mills. It's tough to know how to value quarterbacks like these who likely won't be first round picks and won't likely have a great chance to start in 2021. But that's also the same thing we could have said about Jalen Hurts heading into last year and now he's a borderline top-12 Dynasty quarterback. For me, the right time is when I see a lack of upside in the skill position players available. Had Michael Carter still been there I definitely would have taken him, and I was close to pulling the trigger on Tylan Wallace.
Round 3 and Round 4
3.01 Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State
3.02 Jaret Patterson, RB, Buffalo
3.03 Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State
3.04 Amari Rodgers, WR, Clemson
3.05 Kyle Trask, QB, Florida
3.06 Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC
3.07 Jermar Jefferson, RB, Oregon State
3.08 D'Wayne Eskridge, WR, Western Michigan
3.09 Rhamondre Stevenson, RB, Oklahoma
3.10 Nico Collins, WR, Michigan
3.11 Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State
3.12 Kylin Hill, RB, Mississippi State
4.01 Tamorrion Terry, WR, Florida State
4.02 Brevin Jordan, TE, Miami
4.03 Jaelon Darden, WR, North Texas
4.04 Elijah Mitchell, RB, Louisiana
4.05 Javian Hawkins, RB, Louisville
4.06 Sam Ehlinger, QB, Texas
4.07 Jamie Newman, QB, Georgia
4.08 Tutu Atwell, WR, Louisville
4.09 Seth Williams, WR, Auburn
4.10 Shi Smith, WR, South Carolina
4.11 Trevon Grimes, WR, Florida
4.12 Josh Palmer, WR, Tennessee
A couple of my favorite picks from this range not made by me were Rhamondre Stevenson and Brevin Jordan. Stevenson isn't a particularly great athlete, but he did average 6.6 yards per carry and more than 100 yards per game in his final year at Oklahoma. With most of these picks you're going to need multiple things to go right for them to find Fantasy success. With Stevenson (and other running backs) it's slightly more simple. You just need Arthur Smith and the Falcons to pass on the big name running backs and instead take Stevenson in Round 3. He could legitimately jump into top-10 discussion if that happens. Of course, Ke'Shawn Vaughn is the cautionary tale as to why we maybe shouldn't fall for that again.